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The history of Greece is interwoven with the history of the Balkans, an area in which Greece has played a major role down through the centuries.
Historically, the Balkans are considered to be a volatile region, and the latest – and hopefully the last – conflicts in the region occurred at the turn of the 21st century, in the wake of the break-up of Yugoslavia.
The current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the issues of Kosovo and the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia all result from the break-up of Yugoslavia.
As a longstanding member of the EU (1981), NATO (1952) and other Euroatlantic institutions, Greece pursues the consolidation of stability, security and development in the region through the establishment of good neighbourly relations and respect for the basic principles of international law and order – as they are set down in the UN Charter – as well as through the full incorporation of all the Balkan countries into the European and Euroatlantic institutions.
Within this framework, Greece’s regional policy for the Balkans revolves around the following axes:
- Regional development through optimum use of existing regional platforms as well as EU mechanisms. Greece contributes to regional growth via HiPERB, the Regional Cooperation Council and various bilateral, trilateral and quadripartite cooperation platforms that it promotes with partners and states in the region.
- A strengthened political role for the South Eastern European Cooperation Process (SEECP), which would enable the countries of the region to take their share of responsibility in confronting regional challenges. The politically strengthened SEECP serves as an antechamber where countries of the region can make accession preparations on their course towards the European Union.